Why Quality Customer Relationships Matter – Part III – What’s the ROI?

It goes without saying that you can’t have a business without customers. From there, it follows that if you treat your customers right and invest in building quality relationships with them, it will pay dividends in repeat business. But what are the actual numbers associated with delivering the kind of service that leads to happy customers?

In this article, we’ll look at how much it costs to build good customer relations and what a business stands to lose if it doesn’t.

Invest early and often in your staff

Because “good customer service” is a broad concept, it can be hard to get a handle on just what it means. It basically comes down to delivering on your brand promise of having a quality product, solving a problem or making their life easier. That brand promise is largely in the hands of your employees.

Customers don’t see what happens in conference rooms, when customer retention strategies are laid out in flow charts and infographics. They see the person who is serving their food, helping them log in to their account, scouring the stockroom for shoes in their size, or talking them through their membership options. Performing these tasks with accuracy, grace, and empathy requires skill and practice.   All good customer service relies on the right training, at the right time and in the right way.

Training staff to go the extra mile requires an investment. The price of that investment can vary widely, based on the type, level and frequency of training. Virtual training solutions like Jigsaw Interactive are great for businesses who want to optimize their training budget and offer more frequent, engaged and activity-based learning programs. Schedule a demo to see how it works.

When determining your training budget, understanding the value of it is critical.  That value includes the ROI for the dollars and time spent.   A few statistics from Salesforce on the impact of investing early and often in your staff:

  • Close to 90% of high-performing service decision-makers are making significant investments in agent training. Only 57% of underperforming decision-makers are doing the same.
  • 83% of high-performing service agents feel they receive the necessary training to do their job well, whereas just 52% of underperformers say they are adequately trained.

Loyal customers are worth their weight in gold

Trained staff means happy customers. What comes next? Those happy customers often go on to become brand ambassadors. They’re the ones who leave lengthy, glowing, detailed reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other influential social media sites, putting businesses on the map and driving new customers right to their door, fueled solely by a great customer service experience. It’s powerful stuff, since 97% of people consult online reviews before checking out a new local business. No amount of ad spend can compare with this kind of organic social proof.

The impact of bad reviews is just as powerful. Studies show that almost everyone (94%) has been dissuaded from doing business with a brand because of bad online reviews. The dollar figure of that lost opportunity will vary, but it’s much more than you’d expect, when you figure in the lifetime value of a customer. For instance, a shoe brand isn’t just missing out on the $100 they might have made from a new customer’s initial purchase, they’re losing out on all the shoes that customer might have purchased over their lifetime, because they would generally be a repeat buyer. One pair of shoes every year for 30 years equals $3,000.  Instead, they get $0 due to bad reviews that made the customer decide to go elsewhere.  Take that times just 100 customers, that $30,000 in lost revenue?  Social media has a far and long reach so the amount of lost revenue can be staggering.   

To sum up, quality customer relationships are more important than ever. And with mediocrity taking hold across the board, it’s not difficult for dedicated brands to put themselves at the head of the pack by training their staff. Jigsaw makes it easy to get started. Get in touch today to explore your options.